Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hank's Smoked Brisket review

Time to get back to some reviews....

When we lived downtown, I'd pass by Hank's Smoked Brisket on MLK Blvd quite often. It is just south of 38th Street, across from part of Crown Hill Cemetery (best view of downtown, from the top of the "Crown", up where James Whitcomb Riley is buried). So, after an appointment downtown, I grabbed a brisket sandwich combo (comes with 2 sides) and took it back to the ranch.

Hank's is only a take-out restaurant. In fact, when you go in, it almost seems like a waiting room for a doctor's office, but only a doctor's office that has a wonderful aroma of smoked meat (something I doubt Clarian is considering). I placed my order, than joined 4 other gents waiting for their grub in chairs akin to the waiting area of a barber shop. I had the beef brisket sandwich with sauce on the side and the beans and mac-n-cheese (I also used this opportunity to try one of the sodas I'd picked up at Jungle Jims - the Moxie Blue Cream Soda).

The brisket at Hanks is tender, juicy, smokey and delightful. They must smoke them earlier and wrap them up, as the only deficiency I'd note on my visit was that the crust was not very crunch, but had become more moist again from being wrapped in some cling wrap. Still, the meat was just very tender, a great flavor, and a load of it for a sandwich. The mac-n-cheese was pretty decent, and had was loaded with cheese and a bit of a crust to it as well (bonus points). The beans were a bit of a disappointment. To me, the beans often show the care of a bbq restaurant if they really put effort into them. I found these bbq beans a bit average, and I was not completely convinced these didn't just come from a can and then get enhanced with a bit of trimmings (sparse as they were) and some jazzed up sauce. However, I felt like the brisket was definitely worth going back for. They were taking orders for Thanksgiving, and since we were having a houseful for both Thursday and Friday, I did consider mixing things up and getting a few pounds for Friday, but... I made some cowboy chili instead.

Hanks is definitely worth the visit. The brisket sandwich combo was about $8.50, and you'll be satisfied and full after the meal.

The verdict: very good brisket, decent sides, good value. 4 belly rubs (out of 5).

And, as a side note, the Moxie Blue Cream was nice, but.... a pretty basic cream soda. But, the slogan on the bottle cap is stellar - "If you have Moxie, you have taste!" I love it!

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